Farmers benefit substantially from Wind Farms

A recent, Media 24 interview with Dr Kilian Hagemann during Africa Utility Week, May 2019, provides interesting facts about the benefits of wind farms to farmers.

(Translated and edited from Windkragboere skep ruim – Media 24 article)

“Farmers on whose farm a commercial wind farm is built, can reap a substantial financial benefit. In addition to the payments they receive when availing their farm for initial tests and studies, and payments for the inconvenience during construction work of the wind farm, the farm is rented on a long-term lease from the farmer, and he can continue with his agricultural activities as usual.

Dr. Kilian Hagemann, CEO of wind power developer G7 Renewables, says when the wind farm starts selling power to Eskom, landowners on which the wind turbines are built will get anything from 0.8% to 1% of revenue from power sales.

“We foresee a new boom for the wind power industry over the coming years as the Government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) takes effect. It is believed that the new version of the IRP will allow for about 1 600 MW of new wind power capacity built from 2023 to 2030.

G7 is currently looking at new sites for wind farm development. Hagemann thinks though the low-hanging fruit were picked in the first round of the green power program, there are still many good places, especially in the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape where new wind farms can be built. There are even areas in the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KZN with potential.

According to Hagemann, technology development in the wind power industry is accelerating rapidly and continuously. Where new models were previously introduced every two years, there are now improvements to wind technology almost every nine months.

(Shortened and Edited)